Overcoming the barriers in eCommerce Strategy

October 27, 2021

In our 2021 study commissioned with Forrester Consulting*, industry leaders shared the challenges they faced with eCommerce content. A great majority noted that integrating their data sources were the largest concern, followed by the difficulties in measuring the effectiveness of product content to deliver on their objectives.

Here is a highlight of what business leaders struggle with as they look to manage and measure their eCommerce performance.

Disjointed Data Sources: A Common Theme

Our previous analysis from the Forrester Consulting study showed that customer experience can be hampered by lack of content integration and poor internal processes. However, even when the content and processes are in line, it’s a challenge to pull from multiple data sources and work to harmonize the information. For one in four respondents, this was the top or number-two challenge for leveraging product data; and increasing SKU size is not likely to help for many. In Europe, the issue was even greater, as 34% rated having multiple data sources as their biggest challenge. Because of the many systems where data resides, the manual labor needed to compile and align data across systems is an added internal cost that is often overlooked.

Channel and recipient differentiations are another concern for suppliers. Again, close to 20% of all respondents ranked the multiple requirements from their recipient partners as a top or number-two concern.

Regulations Also Loom

Whether it’s consumer privacy, content accuracy, or compliance to dietary, health, or other environmental labeling, regulations are a constant area for management. The need for suppliers to track and update their information to be compliant is paramount, as the study showed that meeting regulations or ensuring data compliance was a top concern for nearly two in ten (18%) of all respondents. The Europe region ranked slightly higher (24%), not surprisingly, given the generally more stringent privacy and labeling laws there.

The lack of automated processes to maintain classification of certain ingredients or taxonomies is an added burden for suppliers, and one that can’t be dismissed lightly.

Validation is Also a Concern

Finally, the need for validation—from both retailer partners and consumers—was the other challenge listed by suppliers. Whether it’s struggling to validate that retail partners are correctly displaying the content, knowing which attributes drive SEO, or understanding whether the content displayed is resonating with shoppers, it’s reportedly difficult for suppliers to determine what works in order to improve upon it.

These validation barriers were consistent across the board; however, in some regions they presented themselves more strongly. In Latin America, for example, the struggle to validate what retail partners were displaying was higher (21%) than in North America or Europe (15% and 16%, respectively). When considering a “top three” challenge rather than top two, Latin America showed an even stronger concern at 39%, compared to 19% in North America and 23% in Europe.

Similarly, SEO ranked differently, being lower as a top-two concern in Europe (12%) than either North America (23%) or Latin America (22%). This may be, in part, due to privacy regulations that limit the amount of personal information available. In the U.S., the need to understand whether content is resonating with shoppers was lower (14%) than Europe or Latin America (20% and 25%, respectively).

Despite these regional differences, the concern around validation overall was fairly important. Moreover, it’s a reason for solution providers like Syndigo to deliver such services that reduce the need for internal resources to maintain content across these rapidly and constantly changing variables.

Syndigo’s platform platform can help suppliers better manage their information to make it eCommerce-ready. In addition, Riversand, a Syndigo company, is a leader in governance of master data across multiple domains. Together, they offer a wide range of data management, syndication, and analytics solutions to help suppliers and retailers better manage and distribute information that drives sales.

* Commissioned study of 360 global directors and decision-makers for product content management strategy, by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Syndigo, February 2021

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